College Pathway Options
Did you know there are different types of college degrees?
An Associate degree is a two year degree that allows the option to transfer into a four-year university. However, to become a teacher you will need to continue and earn a bachelor’s degree (either in arts, B.A., or sciences, B.S.). This degree usually takes four to five years, depending on your major and how many classes per semester you take.
After the bachelor’s degree then you can earn a master’s degree. There are different options. For example, MA stands for Master’s of Arts, MS stands for Master’s of Science and MAT means Master of Teaching. If you want to become a teacher you have to make sure that your master’s degree includes all the requirements for a teaching credential.
Did you know there are three systems of higher education in California?
In California there are different types of colleges and universities that can help you achieve your dream of becoming a teacher. Based on the institution you choose, your pathway can be varied. Colleges and universities are sometimes referred to as institutions of higher education. The following are the three systems of higher education in CA:
- Community Colleges
- Private Colleges and Universities
- Public Universities: California State Universities (CSU) and the University of California (UC) system
Additional information about California’s three systems of higher education and admission requirements can be found on the following links:
High School Sudents
Part of the educational pipeline linked to becoming a teacher is enrolling and graduating from college with your bachelor’s degree and then meeting your credential requirements. Usually this is done through a master’s degree that includes the California’s teaching credential requirements. In order to start your journey into college, there are certain classes and requirements needed to commence your college education:
The A-G requirements are classes that prepare you for college. The private, CSU and UC system requires the completion of the below noted classes to be ready for college admission.
If you want to attend a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) right after high school, below are the minimum Requirements:
Complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses (A-G courses) with a letter grade of C or better, with at least 11 courses finished prior to the beginning of your last year of high school.
The 15 courses are:
- History | 2 years
- English | 4 years
- Mathematics | 3 years
- Laboratory Science | 2 years
- Language other than English
(*Or equivalent to the 2nd level of high school)
- Visual and performing arts | 1 year
- College-Preparatory Elective | 1 year
(chosen from the subjects listed above or another course approved by the university)
- Earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C. Learn how to calculate the UC freshman GPA.
- Meet the examination requirement by taking the ACT Plus a Writing Exam or SAT with Essay by December of your senior year, both the ACT and SAT are standardized tests used for college admissions in the United States. Generally, SAT Subject Tests are not required, but certain programs on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the "A-G" requirements listed above.
It is important to fulfill all of these requirements plus be involved in extracurricular activities that are meaningful to you. Colleges and universities want to know that you are a committed student and that you want to make a difference in society.
Admission Tests: ACT and SAT
CSU campuses use scores from either the ACT or the SAT exams, both standardized tests for college admission, to calculate your Eligibility Index for admission.
SAT/ACT test scores aren’t required to establish the admission eligibility of California residents with a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above (nonresidents must have a GPA of 3.61 or above). But be aware that impacted campuses and impacted first-time freshmen enrollment categories often include test scores among the supplemental criteria required by all applicants to those campuses and enrollment categories.
The CSU does not use the SAT Writing section or the ACT Writing score to calculate the CSU Eligibility Index.
For the University of California system, in order to meet the examination requirement take the ACT Plus Writing or SAT with Essay by December of your senior year. The UC system doesn’t require SAT Subject Tests, but certain programs on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the A-G requirements listed above.
Community College Students
Did you know that one of your options to get your bachelor’s degree is attending a community college and then transferring to a university?
Many students choose to begin their careers at community college before transferring to a four-year institution.Some students choose community college for the first two years of schooling to save money, while others opt to attend community college to explore which major interests them most.
The time that you take to plan out your community college curriculum is a vital step in helping you understand the requirements to attend the university you choose as well as the classes that you need for transferring. The key to successfully transferring to a four year institution begins with early planning. This ensures that your credits not only transfer, but also that you are taking the requirements for your major.
The transfer process is different for each student, but the single most important factor is the same for everyone: You must take responsibility for every stop of the process.
Start learning about agreements between community colleges in California and the UC or CSU systems.These California college transfer agreements can make it easier for students to transfer from community colleges to UC or CSU schools. A Campus Explorer college search can help you find the right community college and the UC or CSU transfer college you’d like to transfer to. To find a list of the various core curriculum courses offered by California community colleges, visit the IGETC website. Taking these courses will make it easier to complete your undergraduate degree.